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Why the Northern Lights will be more incredible in 2024

The effect known as Solar Maximum has the effect of aurora borealis with more colors and intensity.

This effect started in 2022 and is expected to peak in 2024. This means that 2024 will be an incredible year to see this fascinating spectacle of nature.

I was fortunate to witness part of the Solar Maximum in 2022 and 2023 on Senja Island - Norway, considered one of the best places to see the Northern Lights.

In these two years, I have been on photographic expeditions where we have had the great privilege of seeing the Northern Lights every day.

"....oxygen at higher altitudes, generally above 200 kilometers, produces shades of red and pink when excited by solar particles"

However, expectations for 2024 are even greater, with much more intensity and colors.

What is solar maximum?

The Aurora Borealis is caused by the Sun, more specifically when charged particles, coming from solar storms, travel towards Earth and react with atmospheric gases. It can only be seen around the pole, where Earth's magnetic field is weakest.

Although this process can happen at any time, the amount of energy released by the Sun changes over time. On average, the cycle of solar activity waxes and wanes over a period of approximately 11 years. Right now, we are heading into a period of expected high activity, known as solar maximum.

Pål Brekke, head of space research at the Norwegian Space Center, told Norwegian network NRK that we are halfway to the next solar maximum. “We will have good years ahead,” he said, adding that, if the averages are confirmed, the next solar maximum should occur in 2024.

*Source Forbes

This means a period of 3 to 5 years of significant northern lights activity. If you've always wanted to see the Northern Lights, now is a great time to start planning your trip.

What causes the Aurora Borealis and its colors?

The aurora borealis displays a variety of dazzling colors due to the different gases present in the Earth's atmosphere. Oxygen at higher altitudes, generally above 200 kilometers, produces red and pink hues when excited by solar particles. Oxygen at lower altitudes, between 100 and 200 kilometers, contributes to the green and yellow colors.

Additionally, nitrogen in the atmosphere can create violet and blue hues. The combination of these colors creates a fascinating visual spectacle, with the intensity and variety of colors depending on the atmospheric composition and the energy of solar particles. Each northern lights display is unique, offering an incredible natural spectacle in the polar regions.

Photographing the Northern Lights

Currently, in addition to the camera, we can photograph the Aurora Borealis with the latest generation cell phones.

However, it is very common to find proposals on the market for hunting the Northern Lights of risks and uncertainties.

When we talk about the Photographic Expedition to hunt for the Northern Lights, we cannot forget two major factors. The first is the magical possibility of being able to contemplate and experience this great experience. It brings tears to your eyes.

The second possibility, capturing beautiful images of the Northern Lights and of course with good compositions.

Some "gurus" of the Northern Lights often deliver part of it or none at all. Dreams that can turn into nightmares or frustration. I have witnessed many roadside expeditions.

" ....Senja is considered one of the best places to see Northern Lights in the world. "

A photography expedition requires a lot of experience, planning, patience and time.

This natural effect is versatile, we need to know where it will occur, what is the best time and place for the event, what is the possibility of having a beautiful composition. Always remember that all of this takes place in freezing temperatures.

Senja Island, the best place to hunt Northern Lights.

Senja, often called "Senja the beautiful" or " mini Norway" , offers a variety of natural wonders. Its fjords, such as the Okshornan Fjord, create dramatic landscapes with rocky peaks reflected in the calm waters. White sand beaches such as Mefjordvær contrast with the mountainous backdrop.

The Northern Lights are an unforgettable nighttime spectacle, especially during the autumn and winter months. Currently, Senja is considered one of the best places to see Northern Lights in the world.

In addition, Ånderdalen National Park, with its stunning trails, offers opportunities to explore the local flora and fauna. We cannot forget the charming villages, where local culture and Norwegian hospitality are experienced.

Senja is truly a paradise for those looking for adventures in nature and wonderful photos.

Don't forget, in October 2024 we will hold the third edition of the Aurora Borealis Phototour. Don't miss this great opportunity at Máximo Solar. You are my guest to live this great experience.


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